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The global statistics indicates that about 2.2 billion people across the world have a vision impairment out of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented. Among the developing and poor countries, the challenge is unprecedented, and Kenya is one of such countries with high prevalence of vision impairment. It is estimated that about 7.5 million (15.5%) are in need of eye health services ranging from diabetic complications in the eyes, refractive errors, trachoma, allergic eye diseases and difficulty in reading among others. Only 1.6million have access to eye health services from both public and private facilities.
While responding to the call by IAPB through its 2030 In Sight strategy to end avoidable sight loss, CBM launched Vision Impact Project in 2022 that provides comprehensive, inclusive, integrated and people centered eye health services in Kenya. The project’s overall goal is to reduce prevalence of visual impairment and avoidable blindness in Kenya through strengthening eye health systems across primary, secondary and tertiary levels in selected counties of Kenya. CBM is implementing Vision Impact Project through 9 partners — local and international. The project has taken a multidisciplinary approach by involving different stakeholders including government line ministries such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of labor and social protection through the National Council of Persons with Disabilities.
Through this project CBM seeks to reach out to over 8 million people through community and school screening using PEEK technology. The project will ensure selected primary health facilities and secondary(county) and tertiary facilities are equipped to provide quality services for the demand that will be created. In addition, the project will work towards reducing the eye health workforce gaps by supporting health workers for middle level trainings in eye health specialties. Through the project, eye health governance will be improved to ensure eye care services are coordinated at the county and national levels. Besides the project will also ensure support towards infrastructural improvement and availability of medical supplies and consumables.
Vision Impact Project is aimed at accelerating integration of eye health in universal health coverage through optimized identification and enhanced referral pathways, reduced burden for eye health diseases, improved quality of life of beneficiaries due to better vision among other life changing benefits.
Since the roll out of the eye care services in the country over 500,000 people have received eye health services across the counties and several facilities have been equipped.
Vision Impact Project is going to accelerate the IAPB’s goal to ELEVATE vision as a fundamental, economic, social and development issue; INTEGRATE eye health into wider health system and ACTIVATE consumer demand and market change.